Virtual reality was everywhere in the early 1990s, with the holodecks in Star Trek convincing us all we'd be taking holidays in our own living rooms within ten years. Instead, we got a chunky, heavy helmet attached to computers far too slow to render the complex geometry required. But while they weren't much cop at producing realistic 3D environments, they were brilliant at causing "cybersickness" in their users - a result of the lag between turning your head and the image changing. Nearly 20 years later, and companies are beginning to creep back towards the scene of the crime. Increased processing power and better optics have convinced NASA to experiment with VR helmets as a training method for astronauts. A group of British universities is also developing the Virtual Cocoon, a multisense helmet that will apparently simulate all five senses, paving the way for virtual tourism. We're not holding our breath.
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